Gill Morris

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Lobbying for lobbying

Morris is chair of the lobbyists lobby group the Association of Professional Political Consultants (APPC). This is the key organisation 'in charge of' self regulation for lobbyists in the UK. She is against statutory regulation and pro lobbying.

"Lobbying is a good thing," she argues. "There can be no doubt that we live in a better society because of lobbying."[1]

"I would argue that the UK lobbying industry operates in a far better fashion than most of the developing world; distinctly better than the US, and in the top quarter in Europe. There are very many reasons for this, but effective self-regulation by most of the UK political consultancy sector is definitely one of them."

However, in a Parliamentary report into the lobbying industry, published in January 2009, the system of self-regulation in the UK came in for severe criticism. The report by the Public Administration Select Committee describes it as "little better than the emperor's new clothes" and "no regulation at all."[2]

Morris is determined that the industry will continue to lobby for self-regulation. "On the whole, this approach has worked well, I would say that there is little appetite in the UK political consultancy world to move to statutory regulation.'[3] Note, the entire purpose and reason for founding the APPC was to lobby against disclosure annd binding regulation.

She was selected as one of the advisors to the Hansard Society study of lobbying announced in June 2006. Undertaken by Phil Parvin the other advisors are mostly lobbying industry connected.


According to her biography on the Connect Public Affairs website:

Gill Morris has more than twenty years of direct experience of parliamentary and public affairs work. After five years working in Parliament, Gill co-founded the specialist housing and Parliamentary consultancy, Raynsford and Morris Limited. In 1992, she set up an independent consultancy practice, but was headhunted a year later to work on Government and Parliamentary relations contracts at GCI, part of Grey Global.
Gill joined Connect Public Affairs in December 1994 as Joint Managing Director. When the company merged with GPC, she became Managing Director of GPC Connect, part of Omnicom. In late 1997, Gill headed Connect’s management buy-out team to form Connect Public Affairs in January 1998.
Gill has led the development of the company as the leading supplier of public affairs consultancy to trade unions, public sector and not-for-profit organisations. She also heads the company’s political and public affairs conference and event management unit, Connect Conferences. Recently, Gill has overseen the expansion of Connect Public Affairs as a leading independent provider of public affairs consultancy to a rapidly-growing list of commercial clients [4]